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Who doesn’t have a favourite pie? Mention pies to most people, and their thoughts usually turn to enticing aromas from a variety of delicious sweet or savoury fillings, oozing from crisp pastry cases. Pies are the ultimate comfort food, and with a definite nip in the air, there is nothing more seductive than the familiar smell of home baked pies wafting around the kitchen.


  1. Toss the meat into the seasoned flour, shake off any excess flour.
  2. Heat a large pan and add ½ the butter and a drizzle of olive oil.
  3. Add the meat and cook turning frequently until golden brown and sealed. This should take approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Next add the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and herbs, then pour in the ale and stock.
  5. Add the tomato puree, Dijon mustard, Worcester sauce and balsamic vinegar and stir well.
  6. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer gently simmer for approximately 2 hours until the beef is meltingly tender.
  7. Taste and season the stew if necessary: You may need to thicken it at this point. If you have too much liquid left drain some of it off and then thicken the remaining gravy.
  8. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof pie dish, and let it cool.
  9. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Cut a strip of pastry roughly the width of the rim of the pie dish. Firmly place the pastry strip on the pie dish. Brush with beaten egg.
  10. Cover the filling with the remaining pastry, pressing the edges firmly together .
  11. Pinch and flute the edges of the pastry, then trim off any remaining pieces of pastry from around the edge.
  12. Make 2-3 small slashes in the centre of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Cut out a few decorative leaves and stick in position with a little of the beaten egg around the steam vents.
  13. Brush the pie top with beaten egg and place in the oven for approximately 25 minutes at 220c / gas mark 7, until the pastry is golden brown.